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Last Updated: Monday, 24 January, 2005, 10:09 GMT
Rival F1 series is 'not dead yet'
Ferrari have broken ranks with the other GPWC members, including Mercedes
Ferrari have split the GPWC, which includes McLaren
The car companies planning a rival series to Formula One insist the project remains alive despite Ferrari's decision to commit to F1 until 2012.

The Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) organisation has urged teams not to follow Ferrari in signing a new deal with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

The GPWC believes it can offer the teams better terms than Ecclestone.

Ferrari's "private agreement" was unlikely to lead to a fair environment, GPWC boss Juergen Hubbert said.

Hubbert's comments came in a letter to the nine teams who have not yet signed a new version of the Concorde Agreement, which governs F1.

The letter said: "I am confident that GPWC can demonstrate that it can create an environment of fairness for our sport, different from that which appears to result from Ferrari's unilateral decision to enter into a private agreement with the commercial rights holder and the FIA."

The GPWC was set up by Fiat (Ferrari), BMW (Williams), DaimlerChrysler (McLaren) and Renault to safeguard the manufacturers' interests in F1.

It wants to secure more money for the teams, create a more transparent environment, ensure long-term stability and attract the widest possible audience.

But Ecclestone's deal to ensure Ferrari remains with F1 until at least 2012 is likely to mean no rival series would be viable.

As by far F1's biggest draw, Ferrari's presence would almost certainly guarantee the championship they were involved in would have the biggest following in the event of any split.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart hopes F1's factions can resolve their differences
We want to do our talking on the track and not have another year of politics
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart

The F1 team bosses are planning to meet Ecclestone on Tuesday to see what he is offering as part of the new Concorde Agreement, to run from 2008-12.

They will then go straight into a meeting with Max Mosley, president of the sport's governing body the FIA, which is also party to the new Agreement.

Ecclestone told BBC Sport last week that he was offering the teams an extra $500m (267m) over the next three years.

The Times reported on Friday that Ecclestone is demanding the other teams extend the agreement by the end of February - or forfeit their share of a $500 million (267m) sweetener.

In a separate development, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart met Mosley in the UK capital on Friday to discuss the situation.

Stoddart, who last week described the Ferrari development as "a rather major coup on Bernie's part", said: "My purpose is to try to find a harmonious way forward... holding out an olive branch.

"We want to do our talking on the track and not have another year of politics."


SEE ALSO
F1 teams to discuss rival series
03 Jan 05 |  Formula One
Australia opposes breakaway
27 Oct 04 |  Motorsport
Rival F1 series names consultants
26 Oct 04 |  Motorsport
BMW threatens to quit F1
28 Apr 04 |  Formula One
F1 revolt threat returns
23 Apr 04 |  Formula One


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